Nick Wilson

Otago Uni public health ‘expert’ blog gets it wrong

So much for the University of Otago?s positioning as so-called public health experts.

On Tuesday they raced out a blog post trying to shame Health Minister Jonathan Coleman into supporting a sugar tax on fizzy drinks here in NZ.


It?s written by the usual anti-sugar troughers. Lets? remind ourselves who some of them are.

Dr Wilma Waterlander is obviously the lead author. She and Dr Helen Eyles had a lovely time recently at the 5-star Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh with its exciting social programme.

Prof Nick Wilson is a well-known trougher from the Otago University?s Wellington Department of Public Health Troughers, who last year was exposed by the Taxpayers’ Union over his misleading claims over a salt tax.

Then there?s 11-million-dollar woman Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu, well known for calling for a 20% tax on fat, salt, dairy, meat etc.

But hang on a minute, what?s this? Looks like they?ve been caught out botching their references. ? Read more »

Otago University really needs to get over itself

Oh boo hiss, those poor public health academics troughers from the University of Otago really do need to get over themselves.

Today?s ODT runs the article Challenging ?big food? can mean attacks, continuing the positioning of troughers as hard done by because they are apparently facing a dastardly foe called ?big food?. This time the comments are from visiting Oxford University academic Professor David Stuckler, who says:

Taking on “big food” and other business interests can mean facing personal attacks and underhand tactics from powerful vested interests, a prominent Oxford University professor told health academics in Dunedin yesterday.

The “real politics” of the arena included attacks aimed at individual careers, and attempts to create arguments and division within the ranks of health advocates, Prof David Stuckler, a professor of political economy and sociology, said.

Tactics used by “big tobacco” appeared to be deployed by “big food” companies, too.

“We confront powerful vested interests who make and manufacture products that when used as intended cause grave harm.”

Read more »

Trougher thinks we need more taxes


Over the weekend The Nation ran a story by Torben Akel about whether we needed more taxes to live longer.

While most would say ?Yeah Right?, sadly there?s one person out there who seems to spend all day arguing the need for more taxes to save us from ourselves.

To regular readers the name of Nick Wilson will be familiar. He?s an old trougher from Otago University?s Department of Troughers in Wellington. The last time he was in the media he was banging on about his ?new? research looking at google street view images of smokefree signs on hospital doors.

Nick Wilson was also slammed by the Taxpayers’ Union for claiming a salt tax would reap $450 million. Wilson didn?t seem fazed by the research that showed a salt tax would result in a 2,500% increase in the price of salt for Kiwi consumers. ?? Read more »


Hidden agenda behind fat taxes


If there is one constant, it is the usual bleating from the Otago University?s Wellington Department of Troughers for more government regulation and taxes.

Take their regular moan in their Otago University Public Health Expert blog.

They?re so hot under the collar over Health Minister Jonathan Coleman rejecting their lobbying of seeing taxes introduced on products they don?t like, they?ll find any excuse to re-interview their own research.

This latest blog post from the troughers, including $11 million dollar woman Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu, together with anti-tobacco experts Associate Professor Nick Wilson and Professor Tony Blakely, is yet another insight into their insular little world of academia. ? Read more »

Two old troughing fools


If you?ve ever wondered why people get upset over troughers, sometimes you only have to look at what they do to keep their noses in the trough.

Take these two old troughers Nick Wilson (top left) and George Thompson (bottom left) from the Department of Troughers, Otago University, who have spent years troughing it up on the taxpayer.

Their latest piece of research, if you can really call it that, now means they never really have to leave their comfy, sheep skin covered chairs. In a letter to the NZ Medical Journal they explain how. ?? Read more »

Troughers hate supermarkets – Because they won’t work with them


Another post from the so-called ?Public Health Expert? blog by the troughers at the University of Otago, this time called ?the allure of a Virtual Supermarket for public health nutrition research?.

Academics have never had much luck working with people in the real world, so instead they?ve gone and created a virtual supermarket? to ensure they don?t actually have to to speak to anyone.

Maybe the best place to start answering this question is the original reason as why we built the Virtual Supermarket: to test food pricing strategies. Most people will have heard of this public health intervention in the form of fat tax, sugar tax, soft drink tax or similar policy. The idea behind these taxes is simple and goes back to one of the fundamentals of economic theory ? if you increase the price of a good, demand will decrease and vice versa. So, if we want people to eat less unhealthy foods, we increase the price, ?problem solved?.

If only it was that simple.

Apart from any practical concerns, the effectiveness of food taxes is highly uncertain. The biggest issue being so-called cross price elasticity effects. Let me explain ? if you increase the price of sugary drinks, we expect people will buy less sugary drinks. But, maybe, people like their sugary drinks so much that they keep buying them, leaving them with less money to spend on other foods (no money left for broccoli!). The same applies to subsidies. If you make fruit and vegetables cheaper, people might buy more of them. But, chances are, they spend the money they saved from the cheap produce on other (unhealthier) products (I can have chocolate after I eat my broccoli).

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Otago Uni’s Department of Arse Clowns

Arse Clowns

The other day academics troughers from the University of Otago?s Department of Public Health Troughers pimped out a claim that a salt tax could reap in $450 million.

The Taxpayers thought the claim was a pile of goat poo and looked into this wild claim.

As a result of their investigations they?re now calling out Otago University to pull in their researchers.

Research by the Taxpayers? Union indicates that the $450 million tax revenue suggested by Otago University Associate Professor Nick Wilson from a salt tax would result in a 2,500% increase in the price of salt for Kiwi consumers.

Taxpayers? Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:

?The vast majority of the salt manufactured in New Zealand is used for pharmaceutical and agricultural purposes, with only around 30,000 tonnes being used for food products.Professor Wilson?s $450 million over 30,000?tonnes is $15,000?in tax per tonne. A tonne of food grade salt?is currently worth around $600 in the wholesale market.?

?Unless Professor?Wilson is wanting to tax the salt consumed by cows and the saline solution used by hospitals, his numbers mean consumers will be paying 25?times the?current?price for salt.?* ? Read more »

Plain packaging call for Coca-Cola now in NZ


I have spoken many times about this, directly to producers and suppliers as well. I have told them that even though they hate tobacco and tobacco companies, they need to join in the fight against plain packaging because if they don’t they will be next.

Things are moving pretty fast on them now…and there are calls for plain packaging on products containing sugar now. This shows how emboldened the health jihadists have become and they believe that despite the legislation still before the house they can and will start lobbying against “Big Sugar”.

An unflattering report into the soaring rate of obesity around the world has sparked debate over whether sugary foods should have plain packaging in New Zealand.

The report, which analysed data from 188 countries, revealed that the proportion of men classified as obese in this country has increased more than anywhere else – rising from 13% to 28% between 1980 and 2013.

The overall proportion of New Zealand adults considered overweight or obese rose from 50% to 66% – an estimated 2.2 million people, including 960,000 who were obese.

The statistics have sparked debate on whether plain packaging for sugary food products should be introduced, like that being argued for tobacco products.

Speaking to TVNZ’s Breakfast, Auckland University marketing expert Dr Mike Lee says plain packaging for sugary drinks could come into play over the next ten years.

The proposal for plain packaging for tobacco products has caused an uproar with concerns it could spill over into fast food and alcohol products, says Mr Lee.

“There is the worry from companies that we are going to become more and more of a nanny state,” he told the programme.

Read more »